Setting up a Raspberry Pi for Development - Day 1

Getting together everything I need for a remote development environment.
Raspberry Pi logo.
| Raspberry Pi Logo |

Project Scope and ToDos

  1. Be able to host a server
  2. Be able to build node projects
  3. Be able to handle larger projects
  • Be able to run continually

Day 1

I've had a Canakit Raspberry Pi 4 sitting around for a while and while trying to set up a site to host an archive of my Tweets I've maxed out some some things on my MacBook. This isn't great, but there seem to be solutions. However, those solutions require mucking about with some pretty core system settings that maybe I don't want to mess with on my main machine.

So, it makes sense to set this machine up to handle these projects. That means getting a dev environment running with Node capabilities. The package I got ships with NOOBS a tool for setting it up with Raspbian a Linux variant specialized for Pis. I slid that in, connected it to the internet via ethernet, and then let it do the install. First step was easy.

Next step is allowing me to control it remotely. I have a tiny keyboard and tiny monitor that helps me with my Pi setup, but it isn't really great to work on, so let's do some alternatives right?

I can go into the first menu and go to Raspberry Pi Configuration under preferences. From there I can turn on SSH and VNC connections. That's a good start!

Now that I've turned this on I can SSH in. But I'll need to know my local IP.

hostname -I

That gives me my the IP. Useful! I also want it to have a real hostname so I can more easily see it on the network.

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname newhostname
sudo vi /etc/hosts

Then I can replace the value that follows (usually raspberrypi) with my new hostname newhostname.

Now from my normal machine I can SSH in.

ssh username@192.168.1.xx

I then accept the new key and enter my password and I'm in. I can see my new hostname.

Ok, I have a bluetooth dongle I might want to use later, so I'll make sure I've got that all configured.

With lsusb I can see all the USB items that are attached to the device.

I'll first update my packages.

sudo apt-get update

Then I'll make sure all the bluetooth tools are ready to go.

sudo apt install bluetooth pi-bluetooth bluez blueman

I'll make sure the default configuration is in place.

sudo update-rc.d bluetooth defaults

I'll double check and can see that the git command is working. So we've got that.

Next, from my home directory, I'll make a folder to put my projects into:

mkdir Projects

I want to pull my first big project in from my main machine. I could pull it on to a USB stick and copy it back and forth, but there is a faster option.

In a new console window, I'll set up that connection and use -az in order to make the copying of the files as efficient as possible.

rsync -az ~/ProjectsFolder/tweetback

This will copy the folder on my local machine tweetback as a folder into ~/ProjectsFolder/twitterwork/ giving me my project at ~/ProjectsFolder/twitterwork/tweetback. Ok, now to let it move over 5+ gigs. All done in around 20 minutes!

I might want to do some actual folder sharing later, so for that sudo apt install samba -y

I want to set up to use Node now. Easy way to do that? Let's use nvm which we can set up to manage our node versions for use in various projects:

curl -o- | bash

Now I can install node versions with nvm like nvm install 14

Now, let's make this a slightly better dev environment. We're going to install ZSH.

sudo apt-get install zsh -y

and now Oh My ZSH.

sh -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Now let's install Powerline fonts.

git clone
cd fonts

Now we can try out using the agnoster theme for ZSH, which is my fav.

Here's the bash configuration for NVM:

export NVM_DIR="$HOME/.nvm"
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/" # This loads nvm
[ -s "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion" ] && \. "$NVM_DIR/bash_completion" # This loads nvm bash_completion

Hmm, adopting my version of NVM as a manager isn't quite working. It looks like there are some tools for managing ZSH plugins. Let's take a look.

Let's try Zplug?

Having this issue. Hmmm.

First I had to chmod 775 /home/zs/.zplug

Then I had to do zplug 'tj/n', as:command, use:'bin/n' from here.

Then I set up zsh-nvm using zplug -

Next I need to remove node_modules. I'll need to rebuild everything on the new Linux environment.

Ok, that's it for today, I'll take care of that tomorrow.